Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Guest Blogger: Reb Livingston

Hello, my name is Reb Livingston. Yesterday Kyle asked if I’d be willing to guest blog today. As a big-shot poet, editor and publisher, normally I require 18 months notice and a crap ton of cheddar to guest blog, but I was just at the Writers Center for Charlie Jensen’s welcome reception and got some free cake, so I figure I owe ‘em.

Let me use this opportunity to tell you about some of my creative projects. In August the online magazine, No Tell Motel, I founded and edit with Molly Arden will be turning 4. Yes, we will be accepting birthday gifts. One of the things (there are many) that’s special about No Tell Motel is that we don’t publish issues. Instead we feature a new poet each week and publish a new poem by that poet each weekday. It’s a great way to get to see a poet’s work in depth. And if you stop by and you don’t care for this week, well there’s always next week and the week after that. This week’s poet is Neil de la Flor. You’ll love him. We published hundreds of poets including Amy Gerstler, Denise Duhamel, Shanna Compton, Evie Shockley, Simon Perchik, Kate Greenstreet, Ken Rumble, Cynthia Huntington, Kirsten Kaschock, Danielle Pafunda, Joshua Marie Wilkinson and local-DC poets such as Sandra Beasley, Kim Roberts, Grace Cavalieri, Donald Illich and newly local Charles Jensen.

If you read the work we publish and think yours would be a good fit, our reading period re-opens during the month of October. But if you do submit, please follow our guidelines. And here’s the secret skinny about No Tell: we really aren’t interested in sex act poems. Sexy poems are AOK (but not required). Most of what we publish is quite far from erotica. We’re kind of like the girl who wore a short skirt on the first day of school and now unfairly has a scandalous reputation. Oh and one more thing about submissions, if we don’t use your work, please don’t freak on our *sses. We absolutely hate and never forget when people freak on our *sses. Like most magazines, it’s competitive and we take less than 5% of the work submitted.

Another project I’m working on is my poetry micropress, No Tell Books. The press is in its third year and published books by Jill Alexander Essbaum, Rebecca Loudon, Bruce Covey, Ravi Shankar, Laurel Snyder, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, PF Potvin, and Shafer Hall. The press also published two Bedside Guide anthologies. Unfortunately there is no manuscript reading period for the press – it’s by invitation only (a select few whose work first appeared in No Tell Motel are invited to submit). When I say micropress, I mean micropress, I’m the only person – and that’s the way it’ll continue. My goal has always been to work intimately with a small group of poets to put out a couple fantastic books a year, not to create some unwieldy poetry empire and assign tasks to minions. I don’t apologize for this. If I sold a book for every manuscript inquiry, no wait, if I sold 1 book for every 10 manuscript inquiries, my press would be wildly wealthy and every book would come with an ice cream cone.

Not that these books need an ice cone giveaway, they’re fabulous – and I’m not just saying that because I’m their daddy.

I do hope you’ll take the time to visit No Tell Motel and at the very least peruse the catalogue at No Tell Books.

If you’re interested in more of my blogging, I have a personal blog here and will be guest blogging all next week at The Best American Poetry blog. I’ll be posting a series of mean interviews with No Tell Books authors.

On July 26th at 5 p.m. I’ll be the guest on the Joe Milford Radio Show. You can listen to the program at anytime, so check it out at your leisure after 5 p.m. on July 26th. I’ll be discussing poetry and publishing in (hopefully) a lot more depth than I did here.

And lastly, pretty much all poetry editors and publishers are poets themselves cause only poets are nutty enough to go through all that trouble and not get paid for it. So if you’re in the DC area, why not stop by the Cheryl’s Gone poetry reading on Thursday, July 17th at 8PM at the Big Bear CafĂ©. I’ll be reading with Kyle Dargan and Adam Robinson. If you show up, you’ll be treated to poems from my book Your Ten Favorite Words and from a new manuscript I’m writing now called God Damsel.

Thank you for reading my guest blog post and not freaking on my *ss.

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